Parliament’s Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests has released its Register of Members’ Financial Interests for 2019, which include numerous gifts from telecoms companies.
The register is aimed at ensuring transparency and to create public trust and confidence in Parliament.
All members of Parliament (MPs) are required to declare significant holdings in businesses, shares owned, and gifts received.
By making this information public through the register, people will theoretically be able to get a better view on factors which may influence an MP’s actions or words.
While many MPs takes this seriously and provided detailed descriptions of their interests, others did not disclose their interests before the required deadline.
The committee is now looking at imposing sanctions against members of Parliament who did not disclose their interests.
MyBroadband looked at the gifts which large telecoms companies like Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom gave MPs during the reporting period.
Telkom only gave one gift to an MP — a Samsung Galaxy S8 smartphone worth R11,000 to EFF leader Julius Malema.
MTN donated a variety of goods to good causes sponsored by MPs. The gifts included bicycles, school shoes, and projectors for schools.
The only personal gift from MTN to an MP was a bottle of 18-year-old Glenfiddich single malt whisky from MTN SA CEO Godfrey Motsa to finance minister Tito Mboweni.
Vodacom was more generous and sponsored Durban July, Cape Town Jazz Festival, and soccer match tickets to many MPs.
The table below provides an overview of the gifts from Vodacom, MTN, and Telkom which MPs declared.
|Gifts, Hospitality, and Benefits to MPs|
|Telkom||Julius Malema||EFF||Samsung Galaxy S8||R11,000|
|MTN||Tito Mboweni||ANC||18-year-old Glenfiddich single malt whisky||R1,000|
|Vodacom||Obed Bapela||ANC||Vodacom Durban July tickets||R10,000|
|Vodacom||Obed Bapela||ANC||Cape Town Jazz Festival||R8,000|
|Vodacom||Cedrick Frolick||ANC||Cape Town Jazz Festival||R8,000|
|Vodacom||Pinky Kekana||ANC||Vodacom Durban July tickets||Unknown|
|Vodacom||Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane||ANC||Vodacom Durban July tickets||R4,800|
|Vodacom||Charlie Mathale||ANC||Vodacom Durban July tickets||R14,142|
|Vodacom||Thulas Nxesi||ANC||Three tickets to a soccer match||R3,950|
|Vodacom||Lindiwe Zulu||ANC||Vodacom Durban July tickets||R3,000|
|Vodacom||Bantu Holomisa||UDM||Vodacom Durban July tickets||Unknown|